ECONOMY

Tourism revenue in Africa to reach $121 billion in 2026

TOURISM REVENUE IN AFRICA TO REACH $121 BILLION IN 2026

The tourism sector's contribution to GDP in Africa is forecast to increase to $121 billion in 2026, according to the 2017 Economic Development in Africa Report released Wednesday by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The report entitled "Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth" said the sector's contribution to GDP in 2016 had amounted to $73 billion.

"Tourism's total contribution to employment in 2011-2014 generated more than 21 million jobs, or roughly one out of 14 jobs in Africa (7.1 percent of total employment.)," said the report.

However, according to the head of UNCTAD's Africa and Least Developed Countries division Junior Davis, three countries -- Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt -- take in the lion's share of Africa's tourism revenue.

The rest of the continent lags far behind, he said.

"West Africa's tourism potential is virtually untapped," he added.

While the tourism sector in Africa has been on the rise since 1999, numerous factors have impeded its development on the continent, the report indicated.

Political instability has greatly affected the tourism industry, said the report without providing figures quantifying losses in tourism revenue due to conflict.

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